TechEd 2013: Announcing Windows Server 2012 R2

Oh hey, I have a blog. 

During TechEd 2013, Microsoft announced the next version of its server operating system, Windows Server 2012 R2.

You can watch both the keynote and a list of TechEd sessions, but here is a short overview of what I took away.

Windows Server 2012 R2 is part of Microsoft's evolving approach to a Cloud OS, or Platform. Remember people, they may be a "Devices and Services" company but they are also a platform/partner company. Windows Server 2012 R2 plays a role in their platform strategy which involves the following:

  • Private Cloud
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    • Windows Server 2012 R2 plays the lead role in this area for obvious reasons. What was emphasized here though was the fact that all the experience and insight while Microsoft built out Windows Azure with the previous server versions (2008 R2 & 2012) are brought into focus with Windows Server 2012 R2 so that private companies can take advantage of these benefits at scale also.
  • Public Cloud
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    • This is where Microsoft delivers on their Saas, PaaS and IaaS story. Windows Azure is currently built on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V but make no mistake, they are testing and iterating at least some portion of Azure on Windows Server 2012 R2 and when its released Azure will absolutely get those bits.
  • Service Partners
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    • Microsoft specifically touted the fact that they haven't forgotten about scenarios where there needs to be a certain amount of customization a customer needs that Azure cannot provide but a partner could. Jeff Woolsey described a scenario in which a requirement that data couldn't leave Canada, but the customer still wanted to take advantage of at scale computing. Providers can deliver on this.

This is how Microsoft described it's approach to cloud computing. They took a few jabs at their competitors such as VMware, Amazon and SalesForce saying that they're only focused on specific pieces of the puzzle. Judging by what they illustrated though, they may be right.

Just because it’s the most thought out solution doesn't mean customers will follow suit.

Time will tell.